‘School Science Is Irrelevant’: Why Still Do Science? A Case Study on Secondary Students in Bangladesh

  • Foez MojumderEmail author
  • Stephen Keast
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 44)


‘School Science is irrelevant, but I still want to study it’ is a common comment among Bangladeshi school students. In this chapter the authors explore why secondary students in Bangladesh continue to study hard to achieve high scores to get into a science class, despite the common perception that science is boring, overloaded with content and not relevant to their lives. They want to learn science that is hands-on and engaging and makes links to their life beyond the classroom. Students commented that studying science took up much more of their student time than other subjects. They also found science teaching to be conducted in mostly transmissive styles where they remained passive recipients. So, why is science still a popular choice? Why do students study hard to learn science? This would be a recipe for disaster in Western countries in terms of enrolments, where the curriculum is designed to engage and encourage greater student participation. However it appears that due to socioeconomic pressure on students in Bangladesh, participation is not a problem and students are still highly motivated to take science subjects to have prosperous careers in science and lift themselves out of poverty. This is not unusual in developing countries where the economic development depends on scientific and technological industry growth. While the aim of the country is to produce scientifically literate citizens capable of working in science and technology careers, students in this study are not making the connections between school science and science outside the classroom. Changes are needed, especially in the curriculum and pedagogy, to make science more appealing and engaging so that understanding of science concepts is improved and scientifically literate citizens are produced.


School science Scientific literacy Student career choice Relevance 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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